West Virginia Holds on for the Series Sweep over Frederick in 5-2 Win

GRANVILLE, W.Va. - On a night filled with base runners and pitchers from both squads, the West Virginia Black Bears pulled off the 5-2 win to sweep the Frederick Keys with their 40th win of the 2022 season.

West Virginia got off to a hot start after a three-up, three-down top of the first that included a nice diving stop and throw to first base from 3B Jack Elliot. The Bears followed with a productive bottom half of the inning as LF Turner Hill stole home for the first run of the evening. An outfield single from 1B Logan Mathieu scored CF Maddux Houghton to give the Black Bears an early 2-0 lead.

The Keys tied the game in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs on a triple from RF Caleb Upshaw that brought home 1B Alex Baeza and DH Jake Plastiak. Though Frederick continued to fill the base paths throughout the night, the Keys did not score again the remainder of the game.

The Black Bears held tight on defense to preserve the tie, highlighted by a behind-the-back throw from SS Tyler Bosetti to get a lead runner out at second base in the fourth inning.

Starting pitcher Shandon Herrera put on a hard-fought performance on the mound as he notched four strikeouts in five innings. Many of Herrera’s strikeouts came at crucial moments when the Keys threatened with the tying run on base, including one with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth.

Reliever Chase Lorg stepped in for Herrera in the top of the sixth bringing a change in momentum with him. After throwing two quick strikeouts to end the inning for the Black Bears defense, the Bears returned with two pivotal offensive outings.

With Mathieu and C Nolan Metcalf on base in the bottom of the sixth, 2B Jovante Dorris hit a single to right field that scored both runners and reclaimed the lead for the Bears. The next inning, CF Turner Hill scored on a throwing error from Keys SS Evan Berkey to increase the lead to 5-2.

The Bears bullpen kept the Keys off the bases through the last three innings as right-hander Bryce Woody entered in the seventh inning and recorded two quick strikeouts. Ian McMahon followed with a single-inning appearance in the eighth before RHP Tyler Johnson closed the game for the Black Bears in the top of the ninth. McMahon and Johnson gave up just two hits in two dominant defensive innings for the Bears, allowing them to take the game and the series over Frederick. Combined, the West Virginia bullpen allowed just four hits and no runs through four innings.

In another head-turning performance, Turner Hill nabbed his 43rd hit of the season as he added to his .448 BA. Hill, who went two-for-four with two hits and two runs sits atop the MLB Draft League standings in hits, runs and batting average. Maddux Houghton and Nolan Metcalf also powered the Bears offense, as both recorded two hits and one run on the evening. Houghton, who sits just behind Hill in the league in hits and batting average, sports a .410 BA on the season.

West Virginia is back for a fresh series at Monongalia County Ballpark beginning Friday evening against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and is followed by one of the last Friday Night Fireworks dates of the season.